PAN AM Racquetball Footwork

pan am racquetball         The walled-confines of the racquetball court help players line up their feet.  Their optimal ready stance is ‘closed’; this refers to the position of their feet relative to the walls. Both feet square up to the side walls with the front foot slightly ahead.  Once the ball is in play with a serve against the front wall, all the court’s surfaces are strategically alive.  Players are speedy but not reckless, they move into their closed stance before they hit the ball. This footwork (to and into ready position) sets up offensive and defensive shots.   On offence, a good player tries to hit the ball at her opponent’s feet, forcing her to hit ‘wrong-footed’ in an ‘open stance’. A forced error in footwork.

Agility is on display on racquetball courts:  hitting the ball behind the back or between the legs, diving to reach a far-off shot or taking it on the fly.  From serves to returns and the rallies in between, racquetball players’ footwork is a blur of fast feet.

Rallying Footwork

The ball never comes to the player; she must move to it. After every shot she hits, she pushes off her front foot and hustles back to centre court. Ball placement is unpredictable and she can’t dawdle near a wall for a second. When her opponent begins to swing, she might hop into a crouch with her feet shoulder-width or more apart. As the ball is struck, she moves to it however she can – pivoting, walking, running or shuffling… forwards, backwards and sideways – to hit her next shot from a closed stance. When the ball is at or below her knee, she takes a last step with her front foot and swings. She must keep the ball in play. If it touches the floor twice, the rally is over.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources:

http://www.toronto2015.org/racquetball

http://cemood.people.wm.edu/racquetball/footwork.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racquetball

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

Seniors ‘Snail Strut’

charity snail strut for seniors

Seniors take part in the annual St. Hilda’s Foundation ‘Snail Strut’ Walk in Toronto. The walk is geared towards people who are 85 years and older. The goal is to raise money for repairs to their seniors’ residence.

Eva Altay, at 103 years old, was the eldest of more than 115 participants in the event. The average age is 97. Ms. Altay has been living in St. Hilda’s Towers Retirement Residence for 21 years and credits the facilities for her good health and sharp mind. “It’s the secret to why I’m so old. It’s because they keep me well,” said Ms. Altay, who also volunteers at the residence. “When I was younger, I could do much more, but now I just help with little things.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/seniors-strut-their-stuff-in-support-of-charity/article19254768/

Poem: Footprints in the Snow

Footprints in the snow poem

I had a dream one wintry night as the moon was full and bright.

Before me was an evergreen tree, standing alone, just like me.

Then a man came walking by whose caring look caught my eye.

It was Jesus walking there, calmly in the cold night air.

In my heart at once I knew, all I’d learned of Him was true.

He’s the light in children’s eyes and shining stars in clear night skies.

Life’s answer to each hurt and wrong, the peace we’ve needed for so long.

It was the holy Christmas season, and He had come by for a reason.

He put a bow on top of the tree, as a symbol of His gift for me.

I woke up thinking of what I’d dreamed, amazed at how real it all had seemed.

Beyond my window, I heard not a sound; falling snow was covering the ground.

On the tree I saw a beautiful bow, crimson red on the pure white snow.

Streamers were flowing down the tree, like the blood He shed for me.

I was in awe of the bright red bow – then I saw His footprints in the snow.

Copyright Jerry & Sandi Knode 2002 — Abbey Press

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/general-stamping-talk-f17/footprints-snow-t21975.html

Photo Source:

http://www.wdrake.com/buy-my-christmas-dream-christmas-card-set-of-20-334405

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un: Limping Gait

Gait famous peeps Kim N Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was suffering from “discomfort,” state media reported in the first official acknowledgement of ill health. Kim, 31, the centerpiece of the isolated country’s propaganda, had earlier been seen walking with a limp. Then he disappeared from the public eye for six weeks.

“The wealth and prosperity of our socialism is thanks to the painstaking efforts of our marshal, who keeps lighting the path for the people, like the flicker of a flame, despite suffering discomfort,” a voice-over for the hour-long documentary said. Kim has rapidly gained weight since coming to power after his father died of a heart attack in 2011, photos released by state media show. “Based on his gait, it appears he has gout,” said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership.

Then, another explanation came to light. CNN reported that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had had a cyst removed from his right ankle. “European experts” handled the surgery for tarsal tunnel syndrome. The syndrome is caused by compression at the ankle — known to cause pain during standing and walking.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/north-koreas-limping-leader-kim-jong-un-suffering-discomfort-n212176

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/28/world/asia/kim-jong-un-cyst/

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/north-korea-leader-kim-jong-un-captured-camera-limping-n150416

Photo Source:  http://news.sky.com/story/1342608/kim-jong-un-missing-leader-may-have-gout

John Wayne: Swaggering Gait

Gait famous peeps John wayne

John Wayne was the quintessential cowboy, the all-American American, the symbol for “macho” all over the world. The “Duke” starred in more than 170 films over nearly 50 years.

He had a highly recognizable gait which is now a classic.  One person described it as “looking like he needed to change his diapers.” Slightly tipsy, slightly off-balance looking, rough, tough, and rugged…. Wayne referred to his famous gait saying that “the women love it”. Is that why the Duke walked with that trademark swagger?  He never elaborated.

The “John Wayne walk” didn’t happen overnight. In his films in the 1930s, he appeared stiff and awkward in his lanky 6’4″ body. He was hired because he looked like and  talked like a hero, but he didn’t move like one. He had to learn his slow, deliberate way of walking.

Other theories for John’s Wayne stylistic gait persist:

  • Burt Reynolds claimed Wayne used a Native-American walk: toe to heel, toe to heel.
  • The Duke broke his leg before he hit it big, and that created his off-balance walk.
  • Some simply say he wore his pants too tight.
  • Two of Wayne’s most famous leading ladies, Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall, agree on one theory: John Wayne just had small feet! (Apparently, Wayne’s boot prints imprinted on the sidewalk at the legendary Graumann’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. reveal a men’s size 5 or 6 foot.)

So perhaps the explanation for the Duke’s broad walk, one of the most famous gaits in movie history, is the combination of a strapping, masculine body and comparatively little feet.

Excerpts from:  http://mentalfloss.com/article/31337/where-did-john-wayne-get-his-walk

Photo Source:  https://www.google.ca/search?q=john+wayne+images&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=sbJ0VOmMH4GPyASmv4DYBg&sqi=2&ved=0CBwQsAQ#tbm=isch&q=john+wayne+swagger+images&imgdii=_

Vladimir Putin: Half-Frozen Gait

Gait famous peeps Putin  on a bear

A Pentagon research team is studying the body movements of Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders in order to better predict their actions and guide U.S. policy. The “Body Leads” project, backed by the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) – the think tank reporting to current Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, uses the principles of movement pattern analysis to predict how leaders will act. Brenda Connors, director of “Body Leads”, prepared a report called “Movement, The Brain and Decision-making, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.”

Connors compiled Russian television footage which shows, among several instances, Putin’s irregular gait at his first inauguration in 2000. As he strode down the long red carpet at the Great Kremlin Palace, Putin’s left arm and leg were moving in an easy, natural rhythm. But his right arm, bent at the elbow, moved in a stiff way, as if jerked by the shoulder, and the right leg dragged, without absorbing his full weight. All the momentum and energy in Putin’s gait came from the left side; it is as if the right side was just along for the ride. Even the right side of his torso seems frozen. When he is holding a pen, his right hand appears to have only an awkward, tenuous grasp on it.

Connors has shown footage of Putin’s walk to a range of experts. Continue to the link to read their impressions.

http://clinicalpsychreading.blogspot.ca/2014/03/putins-body-movements-and-personality.html

Charlie Chaplin: Toes-Out Gait

Gait famous peeps Charlie Chaplin

“Once seen, he was unforgettable: Charlie the Tramp with his clipped moustache and soulful eyes set against a pallid face, his shabby but once-elegant clothes, his jaunty penguin gait, his dusty dignity. Charlie the Vagabond didn’t seem to belong anywhere or to anyone: he had nowhere to call home and nothing to call his own, yet he seemed to fit in everywhere.

For several decades, Charlie was probably the most widely known and beloved figure in the world — not only because he was a master clown communicating through the universal language of pantomime, but because he grappled comically with universal human problems….we could identify with him. He was vicariously human in a way that few clowns have ever been. In all those little rituals played out again and again on the silent screen he stood for us, represented us.”

Quoting: Dr. Conrad Hyers, professor of comparative mythology and the history of religions at Gustavux Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1798

Photo Source:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=charlie+chaplin%27s+walking&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=AI1zVNCHMMOoyATUm4LwAw&ved=0CCgQsAQ#imgdii=_

Check out: “That Charlie Chaplin walk.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svih10EdWe4

Lego Leg

prosthetics lego leg

As a child, Christina Stephens filled her parents’ basement with Lego castles and pirate ships. When she put her Lego-building skills to work last month making a prosthetic leg out of the children’s toy, she became an Internet sensation.

Stephens, 31, lost her left foot in an accident this winter and decided to combine her clinical expertise as an occupational therapist with her own experience of losing a limb to help others dealing with amputations. Stephens began a series of YouTube videos and a Facebook page under the name “AmputeeOT,” in which she addresses issues that many new amputees struggle with. Among them are how to swim with and without a prosthetic, deal with phantom limb pain, and clean an amputation site and prosthetic liner.

But it was her construction of a prosthetic leg out of hundreds of Lego pieces that made her an Internet star. The YouTube video has more than 1.3 million views since it was posted in early July. Stephens plans more videos, and she has a second Lego leg — “Lego Leg 2.0,” she called it. This one has moveable pieces — but it’s still for show only.

“Part of what I want to do with my videos is de-stigmatize amputation and make it less scary,” Stephens said.

Quoting: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/womans-lego-leg-video-hit-inspires-others

First Step in Prosthetic Construction

prosthetics construction sunnybrook hospital

Toronto’s Sunnybrook Centre for Independent Living (SCIL) has a 25-member team of prosthetists, technicians and other experts. SCIL helps complex trauma patients regain independence and mobility with customized prostheses and individualized rehabilitation.

Prostheses are made in the on-site lab. The first step in creating a new limb is to make a socket in the stump or residuum. The artificial body part attaches inside the socket. The prosthetist takes detailed measurements of the residuum and then creates a cast of it – similar to that for a broken limb. When that cast dries, plaster is poured into it to make a form of the limb. The form is then carefully smoothed down and filed until it becomes an exact replica of the residuum. The amputee is fitted with a test socket and a limb and learns to walk with this set before the definitive socket and limb are finalized.

Technician Paul Russell says there is “a bit of an artistic feel and flow,” as some amputees need their sockets to be very strong and others want them to be light. “You’re trying to walk the line between something that’s strong enough and something that is not too heavy.”

Patients often develop a strong, lifelong bond with their prosthetist. The more the experts get to know the amputees, the better they are able to create sockets that work for their lifestyle. Getting the artificial limb for the first time can be a life-changing experience.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/advsunnybrook/sunnybrookfeatures/prostheses—constructing-hope/article20223132/

Biometric Soles

Gait identifying

Pedo-Biometrics Lab (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh) is working on high-tech shoe insoles designed to monitor access to high-security areas such as military bases or nuclear power plants. The concept for these insoles builds on extensive research that shows individuals have unique feet and ways of walking.

Sensors in the biometric soles check the pressure of feet and monitor gait. Its microcomputer compares these patterns with a master file for that person. By the third step, it can determine the match or not. If not, a wireless alarm triggers a message. The sensor also detects when someone is wearing another person’s shoes.

Scientists have known for centuries that each person has a unique way of walking. The U.S. Department of Defense and the Chinese government pour millions into funding gait research. The Institute of Intelligent Machines is also doing extensive research into gait biometrics. There are even reports of floors designed to monitor footsteps without people being aware of it.

For more details, including how biometric soles may be used for medical diagnostics, check this link:

http://www.mobilenapps.com/articles/3243/20120723/biometric-soles-future-high-tech-security.htm

Photo Source:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=app+to+identify+gait+marios+savvides+images&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=xFVNVIzEFcqBygSi44GYCg&ved=0CBwQsAQ